Congress to Navy:Stop Shrinking!
Often you seem to lose confidence in almost anything done by Congress, then someone like Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss comes along to restore some sanity. Here is Chris Cavas at Defense News who will explain:
“I want to put you on notice,” Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., told the Navy’s top officials Feb. 24. “Decommissioning 10 ships this year is unacceptable.
“It is my intention that for every three ships that are commissioned, we give permission to decommission two. We need to stop the bleeding this year.”…
“I have tried to give them the benefit of the doubt over the years,” Taylor said. “I’ve listened to three [chiefs of naval operations] and three Secretaries of the Navy tell me they want a 313-ship Navy, but their request doesn’t match what they say. So if they won’t match their own request in writing, if they won’t do it administratively, then I am – with the support of Chairman Skelton – saying we’ll do it legislatively. You’re going to commission three for every two you retire.”
So does this mean the Navy way of buying fewer ships than it decommissions is causing the Navy to shrink? Can’t be, since all the Navy studies suggest less equals more, right? Are you saying 1 ship replacing 4 won’t increase our number of ships, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus?
“We think we’ve reached a pretty good balance between type of ships, numbers of ships and afordability of ships,” Mabus said. “The [budget] and the longer plan are both realistic and will allow us to meet all the missions that we have.
“The ships we are planning to decommission have either reached or are right at the end of their service life,” Mabus added. “But the ships we are decommissioning now are there, at the end of their service life. We’ve done a very detailed, very in-depth study of the difference between a service life extension for them versus buying new, more capable ships, and the case is pretty strong to buy the new ships and not try to extend those that we have.”
Blah, blah, blah! The same “in-depth studies” have consistently given us more of the same ships, only they are more expensive, fewer in numbers, and in no ways prepared to meet future threats; ships that are harder to build, technically faulty, and consistently delayed in entering service. Then, when they finally do enter service, they aren’t used in any manner worthy of their high price tag, neither can they be ordered in the numbers promised initially in order to get to a 313 ship Navy.
Time to throw out the book (and maybe some of those people who still adhere to it) and return to basics in shipbuilding and essentials in warfare.